Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Christmas Around the World

Shirley Godbold
Walton County Schools

Description

Every country has its own customs for the celebration of Christmas. This is a look at the customs used in Czecholslovakia and Mexico. Students may have customs from other countries to share.

Objectives

The student understands ways in which cultural characteristics have been transmitted from one society to another (e.g., through art, architecture, language, other artifacts, traditions, beliefs, values, and behaviors).

Materials

-Christmas Around the World reading material and questions (see associated file)
-Video - -A Williamsburg Christmas- (Ordering information can be found in the weblinks section of this lesson.)

Preparations

-Order the video if you wish to show it.
-Set up the VCR and TV.
-Duplicate copies of the Reading -Christmas Around the World.-
-Duplicate copies of the customs in other Countries questions.
-Duplicate copies of a graphic organizer if you want to use one.

Procedures

Note: If you have purchased the video or have a comparable one, please do procedures #1-3 and skip procedure #4 before continuing with the lesson.If you do not purchase the video or have a comparable one, please begin with procedure #4 and continue with the lesson.
1 -Show the video, -A Williamsburg Christmas- available from the Williamsburg Foundation.

2 - Initiate a discussion of the word tradition. Ask for examples. Refer to the video and ask students to name some things or actions that might be considered traditional. Using the information in the video have students make three lists: A. List Christmas traditions, that were used in colonial times, that we still celebrate today. B. List Christmas traditions, that we celebrate today, that were not used in colonial times. C. List Christmas traditions, that were celebrated in colonial times, that are not celebrated today. (You would use a graphic organizer for this.)

3 - Allow the students to compare and discuss the lists that they created from the video. Ask students to come to a consensus of how many times it takes for an action to form a tradition. Allow for discussion and voting. Tell students that this number is just an opinion, but probably a good one.

4 - Review the definition of a tradition. Ask for specific examples not related to Christmas. Ask students to then think about what they do know of Christmas traditions. In groups of two, ask them to make 3 lists of: A. Christmas traditions they have heard of that a family celebrated in the past but do not celebrate today. B. Chirstmas traditions that a family celebrates today, that they also celebrated in the past. Allow the students to compare and discuss the lists that they created from the video. Ask students to come to a consensus of how many times it takes for an action to form a tradition. Allow for discussion and voting. Tell students that this number is just an opinion, but probably a good one.

5 -Read the text -Christmas Around the World.- (see associated fiile)

6-Have students answer the questions about customs in other countries. (see associated file)

7 - Discuss with the students what holiday customs carried out in the United States today, came from other countries and what countries they came from. Be sure to include the thought that we might or might not celebrate these customs in the same way as the country that the customs came from. Ask students why they think our traditional Christmas customs seem to be such a mixture from other countries.

8- This is a nice time to serve Gingerbread cake and hot or cold wassail.(recipe attached) while they answer their questions. Discuss with the students where the customs of Gingerbread cake and hot/cold wassail came from.

Assessments

-Assess the student's answers on the worksheet, Customs in Other Countries found in the associated file. Formatively assess the student's lists of Christmas traditions.

Extensions

ESOL students can share traditions from their countries or cultures, ESE students can be paired with other students to develop lists of Christmas traditions from colonial times that we still use today and gifted students can choose another country to report on the customs that are used in the celebration of christmas. It is fun, if time permits to serve Gingerbread cake with hot lemon sauce and a hot or cold Wassail.

Web Links

Web supplement for Christmas Around the World
Order the video, A Williamsburg Christmas, here

Web supplement for Christmas Around the World
Christmas in Czechoslovakia

Web supplement for Christmas Around the World
Christmas in Mexico

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